Supreme Court Weighs Miranda Rights For Juveniles
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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The Supreme Court appeared closely divided today in a case testing the rights of juveniles. As NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg reports, at issue is whether police must advise juveniles of their rights when interrogations are conducted at school.
NINA TOTENBERG: His lawyers now seek to have his confession suppressed, contending that because of his youth, JDB's confession was, in essence, coerced and that he should have been advised of his right to remain silent and to have a lawyer.
JDB: Are you proposing a different Miranda rule for all minors?
H: Justice Kennedy: But how would a Miranda warning work, anyway? It might terrify him. Attorney Blackman: Whether there should be a different form of warning for juveniles is a question for another day, but we can't have children believing they have to cooperate in building a case against themselves.
BLOCK: Justice Ginsberg noted that in JDB's case, the police investigator knew the boy was too young to consent to a search of his home, and the officer got a warrant. So why was the boy old enough to consent to an interrogation without a warning?
BLOCK: Do you agree that the disabilities of a blind person or a deaf person should be considered in deciding whether to Mirandize? Answer from Attorney General Cooper: Yes, but those are obvious external circumstances. Justice Kagan: As is youth.
BLOCK: Nina Totenberg, NPR News, Washington.
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